Nissan Rogue 2021: nice improvement

Nissan Rogue 2021: nice improvement

Best seller at Nissan, the Rogue is a very important vehicle for the Japanese manufacturer.

With just over 330,000 models sold in Canada since 2007, the compact SUV is one of our most popular. In particular thanks to its well placed price, a strong argument in such a competitive category. For 2021, Nissan is reviewing its copy to stay in the game. And the changes are numerous.

First, the platform has been stiffened, the steering and suspension revised as well as the doors now lighter. The aluminum hood, doors and front fenders help reduce weight, as does the resin tailgate.

Under the hood, we find the same 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, associated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). A powertrain already used on the outgoing model, but which benefits from some improvements. Power and torque have been increased and now peak at 181 hp and 181 lb-ft, compared to 170 hp and 175 lb-ft in the 2020 model. The transmission has also been revised to improve its operation.

Very good standard equipment

The 2021 Nissan Rogue significantly improves its standard equipment. The prices are also attractive. Priced from $ 28,498, the base front-wheel drive model benefits from equipment rarely seen at this level of range such as the heated steering wheel, keyless start, LED headlights, dual-zone air conditioning and alloy wheels. 17 inches. This model also includes the full range of driving assistance.

The SV model, listed at $ 31,998, should be very popular with buyers as it adds, among other things, the panoramic sunroof, 18-inch wheels, electric driver’s seats and roof rails. To benefit from the electric tailgate, you will have to opt for the SV Premium package ($ 2,200).

Finally, the most high-end Platinum AWD model, sold $ 39,998, adds 19-inch rims, a large 12.3-inch screen facing the driver, a 10.8-inch screen for the multimedia system, a chain upgraded audio to 10 speakers, heated rear seats, and tri-zone air conditioning.

For our test drive, Nissan provided us with a Platinum AWD model. When we left Montreal, Nissan gave us carte blanche to try the vehicle. We opted for a varied route that took us to Mont-Tremblant, for a loop of just over 300 kilometers.

More pleasant to drive

If you own a current Nissan Rogue, it is possible that the noise of the engine and the CVT that makes it howl under acceleration will tire you out. The first frank acceleration shows how much Nissan has worked on soundproofing its SUV.

Even when accelerating fully, the engine is now much less audible. This is also true at steady speed on the highway where wind and road noise are much better filtered. While the 2020 Rogue was among the loudest SUVs on the market, the 2021 model is now one of the quietest, which says a lot about the hard work Nissan put in.

Engine performance is adequate, within the category average. The CVT transmission, now better calibrated, improves driving pleasure. That said, it still does not match its better endowed competitors like the Toyota RAV4 or the Mazda CX-5 to name a few.

According to Natural Resources Canada, fuel consumption is 8.3 L / 100 km for an all-wheel drive model. For our part, the display on the instrument panel indicated an average of 8.2 L / 100 km at the end of our journey. A value confirmed by our calculations to the nearest decimal point, which proves the accuracy of the information provided by the Rogue.

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Photo: Julien Amado

Comfort as a strong point

Thanks to its revised steering, the 2021 Rogue improves its driving dynamics, without equaling the feeling provided by a Mazda CX-5 or a Subaru Forester. The alterations made on the damping side make it possible to enhance driving pleasure without reducing comfort, certainly one of the strong points of the vehicle.

The considerate suspensions, associated with the very comfortable “zero gravity” seats, allow you to travel far without difficulty. For our part, after more than three hours behind the wheel, we did not feel any fatigue.

Since we are talking about the interior, let’s underline the beautiful quality of finish of our test model, and the manufacturing quality in clear progress. Sufficiently spacious at the front and rear, it also has a modular trunk. However, the sliding bench is no longer available.

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Photo: Julien Amado

Even on the winding roads of the Laurentians, the Rogue never broke apart and broke through the bends without crashing into its front end. The rear axle, now better guided, is also no stranger to it. A small drawback for braking, which lacks bite at the pedal and which could be more powerful.

Do not hesitate to press the brake pedal, which is otherwise rather soft, to obtain the desired slowing force. This could also be a problem if you want to tow with the vehicle (1350 pounds maximum capacity).

Still in terms of complaints, the Pro-Pilot driving assistance system (optional) intended to assist the driver has improved compared to the first version. But it is not yet at the level of the best systems on the market.

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Photo: Julien Amado

At motorway speeds, guidance is good in a straight line but becomes hesitant on bends. Even in a curve with a constant radius, the steering wheel constantly makes small corrections. On our return to Montreal, the system was intermittently deactivated as Route 117 became more twisty.

But aside from a few irritants, the progress the new Rogue has made is notable. Its improved soundproofing, its good handling, its rich standard equipment and its judiciously placed price clearly play in its favor.

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